GILGIT: The Gilgit-Baltistan government on Monday decided to constitute a joint investigation team (JIT) to investigate the firing incident in Gilgit which left two young men dead and 17 others injured.

Two men belonging to the Shia community were killed when two groups clashed at Yadgar Chowk, near Gilgit deputy commissioner’s office on Sunday while a ceremony for hoisting of Alam (flag) of Hazrat Imam Hussain was under way in the area.

According to a statement issued by GB chief secretary Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani GB, the home department had been directed to issue a notification for formation of the JIT immediately.

Meanwhile, an apex committee meeting held here reviewed the law and order situation in the area.

Apex committee takes stock of law and order situation in the region

Presided over by GB Chief Minister Khalid Khurshid, the meeting was attended by FCNA commander, chief secretary, inspector general of police, home secretary and representatives of GB Scouts, Rangers, MI, ISI and IB.

The meeting was informed that a crackdown had been launched to arrest the miscreants involved in the firing incident.

The committee directed officials concerned to take tough action against those elements who were using social media to promote hatred and spreading fake news about the incident.

The committee was informed that 45 miscreants, along with weapons were arrested on Sunday night in a crackdown launched by the law-enforcement agencies after the incident.

The committee was further informed that the family of two young men killed in the incident would be paid Rs1 million each and all the injured would be given Rs300,000 each. Besides, all medical expenses of the injured would be borne out by the GB government.

Opposition slams incident

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader in GB Assembly Advocate Amjad Hussain of PPP, former chief minister and PML-N president Haf­eezur Rahman and JUI-F leader Maulana Attaullah Shahab have condemned the firing incident in Gilgit.

Speaking at a joint press conference here on Monday, they termed the incident the failure of the PTI-led government in GB and demanded formation of a JIT to investigate the incident and for arrest of real culprits.

They said that it was for the first time since 2013 that an incident of sectarian nature had taken place in Gilgit.

Advocate Amjad rejected the GB government’s claim about the arrest of 45 suspects in connection with the firing incident and demanded that real culprits should be arrested.

JUI leader Maulana Attaullah Shahab expressed dissatisfaction at security arrangements for the holy month of Muharram in sensitive areas of Gilgit.

He said that it was the failure of the government to ensure security of the people during Muharram days.

Former chief minister Hafeezur Rahman said that after several decades such an unfortunate incident had taken place in Gilgit at the start of Muharram and blamed the PTI government for having failed to stop the unfortunate incident.

Lawyers rally

Meanwhile, a large number of lawyers took out a rally to condemn the firing incident and pledged to promote religious harmony and peace in the area.

The rally started from the GB Bar Association building in Kondas area of Gilgit and culminated at Itehad Chowk.

Speaking to participants of the rally, Advocate Ashfaq Ahmed and others strongly condemned the incident and demanded of the GB government and law-enforcement agencies to ensure rule of law, peace and harmony in the area.

They also demanded that exemplary punishment should be awarded to culprits involved in the killing of two young men.

Published in Dawn, August 2nd, 2022

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